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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 11th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 49 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 49

Something borrowed, something bruised: Injuries don't stop, even for a wedding


A guy in San Luis Obispo—let’s call him Shawn—was getting married this past summer. And, as guys do, he decided to get his groomsmen gifts to show his appreciation for their standing with him during the wedding ceremony: pocketknives.

His sister told the story: The morning of the wedding, he was messing around with one of the knives, and his friend bumped him, and the blade went right into his wrist.

“It was squirting blood,” she said. “He was freaking out.”

This wasn’t a life-threatening injury, though, so it wasn’t a wedding-stopping injury. He ran to a local drug store for bandages and tape, stopped the bleeding, wrapped up his wrist, and covered the now-scabbing slice with a handsome watch. None of the guests who didn’t already know about the cut saw anything amiss.

Gravity and anatomy don’t care a fig that you’re about to exchange vows in front of hundreds of your friends and family members. Thus—despite that fact that you’re in a rented tux or expensive white gown, that you’ve shelled out serious cash for food and flowers and a reception hall, that a wedding day is likely the most planned-for and prepped-for and tightly scheduled 24 hours of your life—if you drop a heavy box, it will fall. And if it falls on your foot, there will be consequences. Usually accompanied by a crunch.

As humans, we fumble plates, trip, fall off of ladders and down stairs, get into fender benders, chip teeth, step into gopher holes, slip on ice, bite our tongues, spill hot coffee, abruptly stand up into spaces too short for us, nick our skin while shaving, bang our elbows into corners, bark our shins on coffee tables, step on glass and nails, choke, cut ourselves, stab ourselves, crush fingers under heavy loads, and otherwise mangle any parts of our body capable of being mangled—and that’s on a good day, one without stress and pressure and heightened hormone levels.

Jim Richards injured his foot during his bachelor party a week before his San Luis Obispo wedding in 2000, making formal footwear at his wedding a painful no-go. Black Tevas gave his swollen toe the room it needed and were so unobtrusive as to be almost unnoticeable. Almost.

Even on our best, most careful behavior, we can’t control the universe. And we’re rarely so self-controlled.

Jim Richards attended Cal Poly in the late ’90s and, a few years after graduating, married fellow Mustang alum Amanda Morehouse. His bachelor party happened a week before their wedding and involved a paintball excursion, which itself included a game in which his groomsmen and other various friends took potshots at him while he was clad only in his underwear and a Pleather jacket.

Full disclosure: This reporter was a member of the bachelor party group and witnessed the following carnage firsthand.

Remarkably, no one was seriously harmed by the high-velocity fluid-filled pellets zinging through the air that afternoon in 2000.

After dinner at Last Stage West—where several of the guys took to the stage to play some guitar and harmonica tunes—the group went to Avila Beach for some ultimate Frisbee in the dark, with glow sticks lighting up the two teams and the disc.

In mid-January, 2014, Richards remembered the evening well. Specifically, he recalled jumping to catch a pass at the same time as another of his friends.

“We collided in the air and fell into the sand,” Richards said. “I stood up and fell back down because I’d broken my toe.”

For the following week, he wore open-toed shoes, hoping his injury would heal enough, but he’s no Wolverine.

“When the wedding day came around and I got those rental shoes and tried to stick my foot in … it hurt really bad.”

Fortunately, he had a pair of black Teva sandals, which he wore throughout the day—up until the ceremony. Right before he walked into the Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church sanctuary, he switched to the formal footwear and toughed it out, doing his best not to limp “too much.”

He put his Tevas in the getaway car so they’d be ready for him as soon as he left the ceremony, and he wore throughout the reception and for the rest of the evening.

His now-wife Amanda chimed in: “I remember thinking it was a little inconvenient, but it really didn’t stand in the way.”

“Did people notice?” Jim mused. “Yeah, I think so. Yeah. But it made for a good story.”


Executive Editor Ryan Miller can be contacted at

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